Gay People and America
Are you a straight person who holds religious beliefs that make it difficult for you to support people who identify as gay or lesbian? Are you an open minded heterosexual that finds yourself at odds with family members over gay acceptance?
If you answered yes to these questions – this article is for you.
Believe it or not, gay people have been part of the human race ever since our species first walked the planet some 7 million years ago. Assuming you believe in evolutionary science, you should know that homosexuality has been strongly linked to genetics in numerous studies.
We’re talking about the same genetics that causes your skin color to be white or brown and the same genetics that makes your eye color green or blue. Being gay is not a “choice” nor is it a “lifestyle”. Simply put – it’s a function of heredity.
But even if you don’t believe in the science, here is a fact that you can’t ignore. Gay people are part of your everyday life.
Here are 15 ways that may shock you.
Do you use an Apple product, such as an iPhone or iPad? Guess what, the CEO of Apple is gay. His name is Tim Cook and he disclosed his sexual orientation to the world in October of 2014. In addition to Apple’s CEO being gay, scores of employees who work at the tech giant identify as LGBT.
But Apple is not the only tech company where gay people are employed. Google has a large group of “Gayglers” who work for the world’s largest Internet search firm. When you “Google” something on your phone, there’s a good chance someone gay helped to provide the results you receive back.
FYI: Are you using a laptop right now? You should know the father of the modern computer, Alan Turing, was gay.
While male flight attendants have long been stereotypically tagged as being homosexual, did you know that your pilot might be gay. Yep, that’s right. There are thousands of gay and lesbian pilots in the United States and around the world.
They fly for all of the commercial airlines that you know well, including American, Delta, United and Southwest – not to mention all of the commuter carriers. Be sure to pop by the National Gay Pilots Association to learn more.
Oh and one more thing – some of the folks who help guide your plane through crowded skies may also be gay or lesbian. They are part of the professional network of Air Traffic Controllers.
4) Space Sciences
Aviation isn’t just about planes. Did you know that the much beloved Sally Ride; the first woman in space happened to be gay. She was with her same sex partner for 27-years.
Finally, more than a few of the men and women who bring us the most stunning scientific findings of our time are LGBT. They work at a place called NASA and can’t wait to head to work each day.
Do you take a pill to treat blood pressure, heart disease or some other medical problem? You wouldn’t be alone. Nearly 70% of all Americans take at least one prescription drug.
Did you know that many of those medications were developed and cultivated by individuals that were born LGBT? It’s true. So the next time you use medication to help alleviate pain or treat an illness, remember the gay chemists that helped make it possible.
Do you visit your doctor for regular checkups? When you go to the hospital to visit a loved one, do you ever say hi to the nurses? Whether you know it or not, the medical field has lots of LGBT individuals in its employ.
Believe it or not, your child could be in a classroom being taught right now with a teacher who is gay or lesbian. Is your son or daughter in college? If so, it is very possible their professor is lesbian or gay.
LGBT educators are everywhere but you might now know it. Many have chosen to remain in the closet because of long held stereotypes that are used against them. Those stereotypes, however, are changing as more gay teachers out themselves.
When you wave the flag and clap your hands at the next Veterans Day parade, remember the thousands of gay and lesbians who served (or are serving) our great country. More than a few are officers and some are even generals.
FYI: It is well documented that gays and lesbians have given their life in service to the United States.
9) Weather (Meteorology)
Do you check the weather report before heading to work in the morning? When you plan a quick weekend get-away, do you click on the Weather Channel to see what’s up?
Believe it or not, there are a ton of gay people working in meteorology. Do a Google search on gay meteorologists and you will find page after page of listings. Oh – and the Managing Editor of the Weather Channel (Sam Champion) happens to be openly gay.
Did you grow up loving Disney characters? Do you enjoy taking your children to Disney World in Florida? You wouldn’t be alone. Over 52 million visit the theme park each year. But did you know the President of Disney is gay?
What’s more, The Walt Disney Company has one of the largest gay employee organizations in the world. That may be shocking to hear but it’s absolutely true.
How we love our music in America. Did you know some several of the most beloved vocalists on the planet are gay? Yep, it’s true. If you listen to Elton John or Ricky Martin, you should know they are openly gay. Do you like classic rock? Freddy Mercury who was the lead singer in one of the most popular rock bands of all time also happened to be gay.
Do you like country music? Many people do. It might surprise you to know that country stars like Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman also happen to be gay. Oh – Chely Wright too!
Gay musicians aren’t just a product of the modern era. In fact, LGBT folks have been involved with many of the tunes you hear in some form or another since forever. There is no way to list them all but check out this wiki-page that offers a healthy sampling.
12) Television Actors
Watching a good television show is a favorite American pastime. TV shows have the capacity to cheer us up when we are feeling down and bring meaning to difficult situations. The actors we see on TV help lend their voices to important social issues impacting all of us.
There is just no way to list all of the famous gay TV stars in this post but here are a few items that might surprise you.
- Do you remember watching the Brady Bunch? If so, did you know the guy who played Mike Brady was gay? That’s right … Robert Reed was a gay man.
- If you like personal finance shows, then you likely have heard of Suze Orman. Yep – she’s totally out of the closet and played a significant role in helping the United States psychologically recover from the Great Recession.
- Did you like watching Frazier? Do you remember the character Bulldog? That actor’s name is Dan Butler and he too is out of the closet as a gay man.
- Remember Married with Children? The woman who played the next door neighbor “Marcy” is named Amanda Bearse in real life. She also happens to be an out lesbian.
- Do you recall the character Officer Oliver Fish from the daytime television series, One Life To Live? That actor’s name is Scott Evans and he is an out gay man. He is also the brother of mega-watt celebrity, Chris Evans.
- Do you watch the news? Guess what – there are tons of people who help bring you the images you see on TV and over the Internet who happen to be gay or lesbian.
There likely isn’t a person reading this post who hasn’t watched at least one movie during their lifetime. Did you know that some of the most powerful films of all time involved gay people in some form or another? Here is just a brief sampling.
- Gus Van Sant is an openly gay man who has directed lots of movies. He is most widely known for his work in Good Will Hunting starring Matt Damon.
- Zachary Quinto, who plays the new Spock in Star Trek rebooted, is loved by many. He’s also openly gay.
- Speaking of Star Trek – George Takei – the guy who played “Sulu” in the original Star Trek series back in the 1960’s is totally out of the closet.
14) Faith Communities
Many people mistakenly believe that gays are not accepted in Christian churches or other communities of faith. It’s a myth and here’s why – there are dozens upon dozens of spiritual institutions that happily welcome people from all walks of life into their flock, including LGBT persons and affirm their same sex relationships.
Do you have a favorite NFL player you like to watch on TV? How about a favorite NBA team? While it would be easy to list a bunch of LGBT sports players here, what’s important that you know is that none of the sports programming you watch would be possible if it weren’t for the hard work of individuals that happen to be gay.
- More than a few gay people operate the cameras that bring you the games you love to watch.
- Gay folks also help statistically assess which sports team you likely place a bet on when looking at the odds.
- Some of the articles you read about your favorite sports players and teams are authored by individuals that happen to be gay or lesbian. Kate Fagan with ESPN is just but one example of many.
Gay people touch your life and the people you care about each day. We couldn’t list out the myriad of other industries and sectors that LGBT folks are involved with because this article would never end.
People who are born gay are no different than you. They go to work, kiss their special someone at night and hug their children before putting them to bed.
Why not take the time to get to know LGBT folks for who they are. You might find out you have a lot in common.